An Athens man was arrested after officials said he forced his 15-year-old son to drink alcohol until he passed out.
On Saturday night, Sweetwater police arrived at a home on Sweetwater Vonore Road where they found a 15-year-old boy unresponsive in the back seat of a car parked outside. Officers said the boy had no pulse, so they performed CPR until EMS arrived. Lifestar flew the teen to Children's Hospital Hospital in Knoxville for treatment. The teen's grandmother told 10News he has been released from the hospital and is doing fine.
Several people at the home said the teen's father, 35-year-old Mark Allen Hughes, forced his son to play a drinking game with him while watching the Tennessee football game on Saturday. Witnesses told police that Hughes made his son play the game after he caught the 15-year-old drinking. Some of the witnesses then left the home, but when they came back, the teen was lying unresponsive on the kitchen floor.
Hughes started fighting with the people in the house when they tried to take the boy to the hospital, so they put the 15-year-old in the back of a car and called police.
Officers said Hughes was "clearly intoxicated" and "couldn't keep his balance." Hughes was apparently cursing and screaming at witnesses, according to the release. Officers said they had to restrain Hughes when he tried to attack the witnesses.
Authorities charged Hughes with aggravated child abuse and neglect as well as contributing to the delinquency of a child.
"We're going to prosecute it to the fullest," said Sweetwater Police Chief Eddie Byrum, "We'd like to use this as an example where if anybody else is out there and thinks this is how they're going to govern their children or direct them, we will put a stop to it."